Congressman Baird appointed as top Republican on Agriculture Subcommittee

Monday, February 8, 2021
Jim Baird

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Indiana 4th District Congressman Jim Baird has been appointed ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture and Research.

The Subcommittee focuses on improving our nation’s agriculture industry through advanced science, technology, research, and education. As a Ph.D. animal scientist and former extension agent, Congressman Baird is uniquely qualified to lead this distinguished panel. Congressman Baird understands the critical role that research, technological advancement, and education play in advancing our national food security, conservation and sustainability stewardship, and quality of life for rural Americans.

“Indiana’s Fourth Congressional District is a powerhouse for agricultural production and research,” Congressman Baird (R-Greencastle) said. “As the voice elected to represent these Hoosiers, I’m grateful for the opportunity to lead and shape the policy impacting the agriculture industry in our district. As a farmer and scientist, I am proud to be an agricultural leader in the House of Representatives, and I look forward to leveraging my expertise to pursue sound science and risk-based policy to benefit America’s farmers.”

In announcing Congressman Baird’s appointment, House Agriculture Committee Republican Leader Congressman Glenn “GT” Thompson shared: “I am proud to announce Congressman Jim Baird as the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture and Research. Jim’s distinguished career of service to this country and his personal history within the agriculture industry make him a thoughtful, valued leader on our Committee. I look forward to continuing our work together to support American farm families and rural communities as we prepare for the next Farm Bill.”

The Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research has jurisdiction over the policies, statutes and markets relating to horticulture, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, and ornamentals; bees; and organic agriculture; policies and statutes relating to marketing and promotion orders; pest and disease management; bioterrorism; adulteration and quarantine matters; research, education, and extension; and biotechnology.

View 14 comments
Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. Please note that those who post comments on this website may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.
  • *

    "...I look forward to leveraging my expertise to pursue sound science and risk-based policy to benefit America’s farmers.”

    Here's an idea Mr Jim Baird, rank member:

    How about you leverage your position as US Representative to...hmmmm...maybe...FOLLOW THE US CONSTITUTION!!!... and stop spending taxpayer money unconstitutionally, and just maybe...if it isn't too much trouble...pursue policy that benefits all of America.

    You are a tool of Big Ag and a traitor to the United States by way of your state-sanctioned theft and redistribution of resources for the benefit of yourself and your cronies.

    -- Posted by dreadpirateroberts on Mon, Feb 8, 2021, at 3:23 PM
  • I think most of America benefits from an amazing field/ lot to fork food system at a relatively affordable cost. My perspective anyway.

    Please advise whom you consider to be Big Ag? Why do you consider those you name as Big Ag? Is Big Ag evil? If so, how and why? What good does Big Ag provide domestically? Globally?

    I really am curious to better understand the entirety of your statement.

    -- Posted by beg on Mon, Feb 8, 2021, at 4:53 PM
  • *

    Beg - Big Ag includes (but not limited to): Monsanto (who owns ConAgra), Bayer, Cargill, ADM... entities which are not working in the best interest of the American people. While I understand that companies work in their own self-interest, at some level there must be an adherence to patriotic/nationalist values and ideals.

    Evil is a subjective moral designation. Companies are amoral. It is the people that run the companies that are moral or immoral, but I will leave it to others to decide whether these people are evil.

    Big Ag is the primary driver of processed foods, and the pusher of High Fructose Corn Syrup (aka Corn Syrup), which is widely believed to be largely responsible for obesity and other health issues in the US.

    Big Ag is also a primary driver of the corn-based ethanol fuel push which is neither economical or good for your engine...costing you even more money.

    If you do some research into crop sustainability you would find that large agriculture crops like corn and soybeans actually deplete the soil rendering it nearly lifeless. This is why farmers are always using chemicals and other additives to their fields...which of course gets into the natural waterways and aquifers that provide drinking water.

    If you do further research you will find that agricultural products like corn and soybeans actually are less nutrient dense (and therefore less efficient as a food and less healthy) than many other sustainable and native crops.

    When you look into the system - farm subsidies, US government allowing foreign ownership of US farm land, Big Ag's racket involving processed food (which is designed to be addictive), waste/fraud/abuse of government money in Agriculture circles (which includes but is not limited to Food Stamps), and who knows what else is going on that we don't know about - the whole thing is astonishing.

    I have no problem with efficient farming. I have no problem with people making money from farming.

    I have a problem with government being involved in something they have no business being involved in, especially when the benefactors of the government involvement are usually the politicians and their friends/donors.

    And yes, I am still waiting for rank member Jim Baird to show me in the US Constitution just where is the authority for all of this government intrusion...

    -- Posted by dreadpirateroberts on Tue, Feb 9, 2021, at 10:22 AM
  • He is so full of BS. If you must publish his articles could you please leave his picture out. No picture needed for Mr. Blow Hard.

    -- Posted by Queen53 on Tue, Feb 9, 2021, at 10:30 AM
  • Are you a republican or one in name only who tried to overturn the election and keep a defeated candidate in office. A true republican would not do that.

    -- Posted by millerh on Tue, Feb 9, 2021, at 12:17 PM
  • Interesting perspectives. I would like to correct you- Monsanto doesn't own ConAgra. I know you can find that on the web but the long list of food companies that Monsanto supposedly owns is created by those who are making a ton of money creating fear and hate. Monsanto is the easy target and tells me that you need to study other companies who are involved in the same exact business as Monsanto.

    Why do you leave out Corteva? Syngenta? BASF? Smithfield?

    BTW, you do know that Monsanto doesn't exist, correct? Bayer purchased Monsanto.

    I have always taken you as someone who believes in personal responsibility. I apologize if I am wrong for making that assumption but since I do, the consumption of too much sugar is on the person who consumes it. There are plenty of alternative options to the American consumer.

    I also made the assumption you were a free market person but foreign ownership seems to concern you. If so, why not mention Smithfield, the largest supplier of processed meat in the US? They are a Chinese owned company. Syngenta is also Chinese owned.

    As for soil health, your response is the template but not fully accurate. Due to on the seed and in the seed innovation, there is less chemistry put into the environment than 20 years ago. Farm management practices are continually working at soil health since it is somewhat necessary to a successful business. The amount of progress that has taken place since the 1960's is evolutionary.

    I know I can find stories to the contrary and those who are abusers of their farms but they are a very small piece of the entire industry. Imperfection does exist but is not even close to the rule.

    I would encourage you to look at the great innovations taking place- water use efficiency, nitrogen use efficiency are just a couple that come to mind. PBI is another amazing development that can have profound impact.

    Since I am highly engaged in this industry, I am confident in my knowledge of it. I live it daily.

    As for the farm bill, I do have concerns also and find the title totally out of line with what the money in the bill funds.

    I could go on but I get the gist of what you are trying to say and also understand falling into the same traps that many not in the industry fall into. It is ok.

    I do appreciate your opinion and thanks for answering my questions. Many would not take the time to do so.

    -- Posted by beg on Tue, Feb 9, 2021, at 1:23 PM
  • millerh,

    Both parties have tried to overturn elections recently. So, would a real democrat try to do so? Also, I believe DPR is more libertarian. To his credit, he is consistent in his positions and they are not limited to the support of liberal/ leftist theology or the Republican party.

    Queen 53- I assume you would prefer only positions that agree with yours? His response didn't call me names or attack me. He answered questions put to him based on his perspective/ knowledge. I find that much better than those who just call people names for asking questions because that is much easier to do than provide answers. Since you think his response was "blowhardish", I would love to have you answer my questions. This would keep the conversation going forward and keep it on an intellectual level.

    Thanks in advance for taking the time to provide your perspectives/ insight.

    -- Posted by beg on Tue, Feb 9, 2021, at 1:35 PM
  • "If you do some research into crop sustainability you would find that large agriculture crops like corn and soybeans actually deplete the soil rendering it nearly lifeless. This is why farmers are always using chemicals and other additives to their fields...which of course gets into the natural waterways and aquifers that provide drinking water." DPR.

    I'm not going to get into the deeper particulars of this debate, but that portion of DPR's broad overview was 100 percent correct. You don't have to be an expert to understand that much of America's farmland is trending toward depletion, despite what the contrarians proclaim.

    Indeed, such fields are everywhere. It is the nature of the business; you can't keep taking from the land without putting something back, which more and more often are chemical additives. I would even go so far as to ask where is the farm field that hasn't suffered depletion to a large degree.

    The contrarians deliver their argument to an uneducated public who has neither the time nor inclination to secure the argument either way, yet the internet is full of fact-filled articles by any number of passionate authors worldwide willing to explain, in detail, precisely the point DPR is trying to make.

    By the way, I enjoy beg and DPR's comments and their insights, however contrary at times.

    -- Posted by Prince of Stardust Hills on Tue, Feb 9, 2021, at 4:06 PM
  • *

    Beg - 1) Thank you. I don't do party politics. I do political philosophy. And so long as an idea is consistent with the ideals of liberty shared by the Founding Fathers and the Constitution I don't care if it comes from a Republican, Libertarian, Democrat, or a post turtle.

    2) Thank you for pointing out certain deficiencies in my answer - you are correct that I am not as well versed as I could be in certain areas such as Monsanto. And I did caveat my list with a "not limited to".

    However, the crux of my argument still stands in several regards to "Big Ag", whatever their make-up.

    They are the largest purveyors of processed foods and while it is true that personal responsibility is the ultimate mark of a free society - I think we could both agree that many people are easily swayed by what they are told (especially via commercials) without question and these companies are not doing them any favors. Should a drug dealer be exempt from scorn simply on the basis that he would not have a market if it were not for the individual user?

    Food/nutrition education is sorely lacking in this country. And yes, I think that the blame for that could be spread around fairly evenly. Right now, we as a society are telling addicts that they don't have to be addicts while we feed their addiction, and while it may clean our conscience to some degree its still kind of dirty.

    I will concede that some small progress is being made. I see more and more products getting away from "corn syrup" (or at least labelling as such) and non-GMOs are marked/available. Market forces, I guess.

    I am a believer in "free markets" in a closed society, such as a country with fair practices recognized by all such as interstate commerce mentioned in the Constitution. If you and 20 other farmers want to start a co-op and collectively sell your crops on the open market - whether to someone in another state or a foreign market - I would support that.

    Though I am not a fan of export duties, I believe import duties are a good thing.

    When you start adding other countries who do not have that societies best interest at heart (such as foreign ownership of US farmland and agricultural interests) then I have problems with that. Fortunately some states do make foreign ownership of farmland illegal, so that is something. (For what it's worth - this would be the correct way to handle it via the Constitution.)

    That the Chinese own anything in this country is a shame upon anyone that supports it. Both parties (R&D) have the blame for giving China "Most Favored Nation" status. The Chinese are not our friends and every touch they (Chinese nationals) have in this country is a tentacle of the Chinese Communist Party that feeds the oppression of millions.

    While I can appreciate that something is being done to reduce the number of chemicals used in agriculture, it is still a BIG problem. I will applaud better farm technology if it has a positive impact on the environment.

    PBI (assuming you are talking about Picture Based Crop Insurance) is still federally subsidized crop insurance. Take away the federal subsidies and I will tip my hat to the rooting out of fraudulent insurance claims.

    I do not farm. But I grew up in/around farms...grain & hog. The last several years I have been studying native plant agriculture, small-scale farming, and ecology.

    I probably don't know as much as you, but I know some.

    And like I said, I don't begrudge the farmer a living.

    I don't like politicians unconstitutionally redistributing tax money for constituent group votes, and I don't like governments over-stepping their Constitutional roles.

    Which always brings me to: Where in the US Constitution has the Federal government been granted such authority?

    (FWIW: Anyone that answers that it involves the "general welfare" clause or "interstate commerce clause" should be pilloried and pummelled with rotten produce. Any politician that does the same should be tarred & feathered only to then be chased out of society to live in eternal shame for their ignorance. That's just my opinion.)

    -- Posted by dreadpirateroberts on Tue, Feb 9, 2021, at 4:09 PM
  • Wow. I would so love to provide the full picture of education regarding soil health but I know it would be to no avail.

    I can't believe we are able to raise any food and stunned at the increase in yields we are showing.

    Soil Health a concern? Has there been abuse? Of course.

    I know people who grow vegetables in gardens year after year who complain the garden isn't as productive as it once was. Soil Health?

    The contrarians are not those who say Soil Health/ Sustainability is a concern and is getting significant attention. The contrarians are those who use only information that supports their position to create hate and fear to make a ton of money. I believe a "real" effort of research from "all" the facts clearly tell a different story.

    POSH, I agree that you kind find all kind of information on the internet but I can't agree with your position or only finding the information that supports your position. I live in this world. Soil Health is an absolute must! COMPLETE facts acknowledge concerns but also acknowledge great gains. This isn't an either/ or problem. It acknowledges a continual process. Every field? Wow.

    I will leave it there as you have your mind is set. I will respect that and thanks for sharing.

    Oh well,

    -- Posted by beg on Tue, Feb 9, 2021, at 4:21 PM
  • PBI is plant breeding innovation

    -- Posted by beg on Tue, Feb 9, 2021, at 4:23 PM
  • Beg, even though you know how much I appreciate you comments, I still challenge anyone to show me any farm field that hasn't suffered serious depletion over the years, any farm field; I'm not particular.

    I'm not saying that farmers, as a group, are not doing what they can to save the soil because it is, after all, their livelihood, and I am anything but anti-farm or farmer, and I fully recognize that farming is a science and evolutionarily, but facts are facts and to think that any farm field that has been producing for even a nominal length of time is not partially depleted is fanciful.

    Beg, even though my opinion differs concerning soil depletion, I am in total, never wavering, support of America's farming industry.

    -- Posted by Prince of Stardust Hills on Tue, Feb 9, 2021, at 4:50 PM
  • *

    Beg - Thanks for the clarification on PBI... I looked it up originally b/c I had no idea what it was, and the crop insurance thing was what popped up.

    I will look into "plant breeding innovation" to see what that is about.

    Perhaps you could look into Native Plant Agriculture. :)

    I had to chuckle a bit, out of respect and appreciation for your commentary on backyard gardens.

    When I bought my house there was a fair sized rectangular patch of ground in the far back that was several inches sloped down, likely due to over-use as a backyard garden. Grass grows there well enough now but I cant help but wonder how well the garden did for all those years. (I am only the second owner of my house.)

    But its soon to become part of a native habitat for food/foraging on a small scale using native trees & plants. Victory garden meets frontier pioneer. LOL

    So yeah, even backyard gardeners need to worry about soil depletion, chemicals, and just what it is they are doing to the environment.

    -- Posted by dreadpirateroberts on Wed, Feb 10, 2021, at 10:35 AM
  • Yes, aware of NPA and your story made me lol!!!!!!

    Thanks for sharing and good luck with utilizing your property!!!

    -- Posted by beg on Wed, Feb 10, 2021, at 4:01 PM
Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: